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Total Financial Wellness—For Everyone

Marthin De Beer

A rapidly growing number of U.S. employers are offering financial wellness programs, yet the increasing popularity of this employee benefit has raised an important question: What exactly is “financial wellness”? 

Today, if you asked ten different people this question, you’ll likely get ten different answers ranging from employee financial education, retirement planning, 401k advice, budgeting, debt management, estate planning, and emergency savings. All these are valid responses, yet they describe only part of what true financial wellness should be: Holistic personal financial and wealth management. 

Total Financial Wellness

This more comprehensive approach is what we call Total Financial Wellness, and it is a significant departure from the previous notions of financial wellness. 

Unlike piecemeal offerings of financial information and calculators that defined the first generation of financial wellness, Total Financial Wellness is being embraced by a growing number of employers across the U.S. today. It is the future of financial wellness.

A Universal Need

From a strategic perspective, Total Financial Wellness is driven by the new understanding that financial wellness is a universal need, much like education and healthcare. 

Total Financial Wellness should ultimately lead employees to financial success on their own terms at every stage of life -- no matter what the financial challenges or goals. The solution must educate employees and give them the opportunity to take control of their future. 

This broadened definition of financial wellness requires a new approach to meet the needs of employees. 

A Total Financial Wellness solution must be accessible to employees across an organization, not just senior executives or a subset of employees. The solution must be highly personalized and agile enough to meet the evolving needs of employees. It must enable your team members to automate investing, which is a proven and powerful way to build wealth. Perhaps most importantly a solution that facilitates Total Financial Wellness should deliver fiduciary advice, which ensures that financial guidance is always delivered in the best interest of your employees.

Deeper Employee Engagement

Financial Wellness is a key component of overall employee well-being, with financial stress having an impact on both physical and mental wellness. Solutions that support Total Financial Wellness also have the potential to anchor an organization’s employee benefits program and drive deeper employee engagement. 

From a competitive standpoint, Total Financial Wellness has emerged as a competitive advantage for employers in their strategic goal of attracting, retaining and engaging employees. 

Three in four employees say they might consider a position at another company that emphasizes employee financial wellness. That’s consistent with the finding in Bank of America’s Workplace Benefits Report that 71% of employees use their company’s financial wellness solution.

Key Challenges

While employers increasingly see the advantage of a financial wellness benefit, selecting and implementing the right solution is challenging. 

Employers are confronted with the following:

  • Fragmented solutions: Lack of trusted and integrated digital and human advisor solutions that give employees an optimal path to success
  • Incomplete financial wellness program: Inability to deliver a holistic financial wellness solution that addresses all the financial needs of employees 
  • Underutilization of benefits: Lack of employee understanding and utilization of company programs
  • Disjointed experience: Inconsistent employee experience with minimal service

By implementing a Total Financial Wellness solution both employers and employees can address these challenges and experience some key benefits.  

Total Financial Wellness relieves financial stress, increases productivity, and promotes long-term financial well-being of your employees. By making financial success attainable for your entire team, your organization can attract, retain and engage employees.  At the same time, your commitment to employees’ financial success truly demonstrates your care for their well-being.

BrightPlan was founded with the purpose of making Total Financial Wellness achievable for everyone and ultimately fulfill the universal need for financial well-being.  To learn more about our approach, please read this whitepaper.

1 Source: PwC’s 8th annual financial wellness survey (2019)